Briefly discuss the relationship of climate and clouds

Cloud Formation | North Carolina Climate Office

What is weather? Humidity, air temperature and pressure, wind speed and direction, cloud cover and type, and the amount and form of precipitation are all. What is the relationship between the Earth's atmosphere and its weather and in the form of clouds) that exists for several miles above the surface of the planet. Climate features also include windiness, humidity, cloud cover, atmospheric pressure, and fogginess. Latitude plays a huge factor in.

When the thermal forms at the surface, it is warmer than the surrounding air.

How Clouds Affect the Climate - Seeker

Warm air has a tendency to rise while cold air sinks, and since the thermal is warmer than the air around it, the air in the thermal will rise. As it rises, it will begin to expand and cool, and will continue to do so until its temperature is the same as the surrounding air temperature Figure B. Gliders use thermals to gain altitude. For example, many birds will use thermals to fly higher in the air. By catching a thermal, they do not have to expend as much energy to gain altitude since the rising air will carry them upwards.

Hang gliders also use thermals to gain altitude and fly while gliding in the air. The process of thermals forming in the atmosphere is a form of convection. Convection is basically the transfer of heat in this case, through thermals from one area to another.

In our example, the heat was transferred from the surface into the atmosphere. So how does convection help in the formation of clouds?


As mentioned earlier, when a thermal rises, it begins to cool and expand. But why does it cool and expand as it rises? Condensation forming on a glass. Image from Columbia University. Have you ever tried boiling water on a mountain? You may have noticed that the water boils faster on a mountain than as compared to boiling water at sea level.

Air pressure decreases with height, and as the thermal rises, there is less pressure on it. Additionally, the internal energy inside the thermal wants to expand it.

So as the pressure decreases while the thermal is rising, the thermal is able to expand more easily. However, by doing this, the thermal will begin to cool as its temperature is proportional to its internal energy. As the parcel cools and expands, it eventually reaches the saturation point where the relative humidity is percent and condensation starts to occur.

Approximately two and a half solar cycles of Total Solar Irradiance TSIalso called 'solar constant', in power watts per square meter. It has been suggested that changes in solar output might affect our climate—both directly, by changing the rate of solar heating of the Earth and atmosphere, and indirectly, by changing cloud forming processes.

Over the time-scale of millions of years, the change in solar intensity is a critical factor influencing climate e. However, changes in the rate of solar heating over the last century cannot account for the magnitude of the rise in global mean temperature since the late s. Are changes in solar radiation contributing to global warming?

The bottom two black spots on the sun, known as sunspots, appeared quickly over the course of Feb. These two sunspots are part of the same system and are over six Earths across.

The evidence collected show that the sun noticeably affects our climate over millions of years, but it is not the cause of recent warming. TSI fluctuates slightly from day to day and week to week. Two different hypotheses have been proposed to test whether solar radiation can explain climate change.

NASA The first hypothesis relies on the fact that in both the 11 year cycle and, in the longer term, the changes in solar energy are highest at ultraviolet short wavelengths. The short wavelength radiation is particularly effective in modifying ozone concentrations in the level of the atmosphere above where typical weather occurs. According to this hypothesis, modifications in the ozone layer could in turn filter down to that level of the atmosphere where our weather is formed, potentially modifying clouds and temperatures there.

Cosmic rays and clouds Cosmic rays were discovered unexpectedly in It is now known that most cosmic rays are atomic nuclei. Most are hydrogen nuclei, some are helium nuclei, and the rest heavier elements.